Wednesday, July 04, 2007

I will do a course later this month on autobiography, part of the summer school at Lancaster. The first slant is as a situation. More chronology will follow later. I have included some time travel, taking in up to drupa next year.
Jeff Jarvis on Buzzmachine recently described the possible consequence of web availabilty for education.

"I keep coming back to the idea that the next institution to explode — after media, advertising, consumer companies, politics, and government — is the academe. This will have profoundly disruptive implications for both education and research. But why shouldn’t educational institutions — especially publicly funded ones — follow the lead of MIT and other universities and put their curricula online? And wouldn’t it be ducky if there were a good, standard infrastructure for doing so and even for joining in with other online students? And, of course, why shouldn’t we all be able to create courses to share?"

This interest me as it would change the way people think about learning and quality, and the way that print fits with the web.
My guess is that Nature will be at the Information Management Show or Online Information. They both have a blogger stream in the free seminars that are on the show floor. I get confused as to which is which.

Guardian Education this week has ann article about Nature Network and a quote from Dr Timo Hannay, director of web publishing at Nature Publishing Group.

"We are increasingly seeing the online world with its informal rapid communications complement the slower, more formal communications of academic journals. There should be a way of measuring the impact of a scientist who posts comments on a site like Nature Network. These could be added to their publishing record for the research assessment exercise [in which every active researcher in every university in the UK is assessed by panels of other academics]. I think the funding bodies will see that these contributions add to the scientific knowledge base."

Previously I had thought of "Research Assessment Friendly" knowledge and "search engine constructed" knowledge as two different things. They could be complementary but I have not previously come across anyone suggesting the web be given the sort of credibility suggested here.

I would welcome it because as the management learning establishment still have little time for quality as a topic, still less recognition as a subject. By contrast any discussion coming out of real situations can often cover both learning and quality.
I am starting to include more in this blog about the nature of the knowledge that is on the web. The actual book, "Everything is Miscellaneous" has arrived. It is now on Amazon UK. Last weekend was the third forum on citizen journalism organised by OhmyNews. Very little coverage so far, but the issues keep cropping up. Proper print journalists seem to be getting upset.

Latest example, Guy Kewney in IT Week.

Headline - Warning: user-generated sites may contain nuts
Real news and informed opinion are being drowned out by conspiracy-fuelled drivel

selected quote -

User Generated Content makes these people think they have a point worth making and allows them to make it. This is a recipe for mob rule, not intelligent consensus.

"Real News" on NewsWireless has included a story about Hutchison which was denied and then appeared not to be valid. The explanation came out that the prediction was essentially correct except that Chinese beliefs in the benefits of a new year had led to a delay. Very entertaining and easy to read, but surely there could be a bit of tolerance for bloggers from real journalists such as these?